A few days after delivering James, someone came by with some food and with it, a desire to talk. She sat herself down on our couch and I don't remember much because at that point in my life I was on survival mode, must wake up, must eat, must get dressed, eat more, etc. She started in on when she heard that our baby's heart had stopped beating that she prayed that it would be alive once it was born. She explained how she had a friend who went in and the doctors couldn't find the heartbeat and she demanded they look again and low and behold they found it and all was well. She said she had hoped that for me. I wasn't quite sure what to say to that, I think I muttered, "that would have been nice."
I don't remember much else. I obsessed over why she would tell me that story for a long time. What purpose did it serve? What hope or wisdom was to be gained from it at this point? Why couldn't that have been my experience? Why couldn't I have demanded that my child be alive and by some miracle there would have been life. The story has stuck with me, but mainly as a lesson in sometimes people don't know what to say.
A while back there was a post that was circulated on Facebook about some mother whose child had been born still but by some miracle she snuggled it and the child was brought to life and everyone cried happy tears. I don't really know because I never read it. People kept posting and posting it and then a few months would go by and it would circulate again. Every time I saw the familiar picture of the mother, naked and clutching her baby little daggers would shoot into my heart.
Envy,annoyance, cynicism, disdain, hurt, jealousy, why not me? why them?
We hear and read others stories. Stories of healing, of miracles, of faith and love triumphant.
Then we look at our own stories and they look NOTHING like it. There are similar elements: loss, hurt, pain, sorrow, grief, sin, feeling alone, so why can't we all have miraculous stories. Why some?
Why not me? Why them?
Have you heard how every single snowflake is unique and different? It feels overtly cutesy (especially after the Frozen craze) but there is a point I want to make.
If Heavenly Father creates unique and individual snowflakes, how much more thought would He put into His children's lives? We are far more intricate and unique than any snowflake and thus, our lives and experiences will also be specific and individualized. I believe He puts great thought and care into each of our lives, knowing what we are capable of and where we are in need of growth and learning lessons.
This is not to say that God causes hardship and inflicts pain and misery, but I believe He allows for us to experience the reality of a fallen world. We have the agency to take each moment and choose to learn, tailor-made lessons just for our very special snowflake-selves.
I do not know why my child died. I don't know if there is a specific lesson I am supposed to learn.
But I do know that my life, and all the small moments that make up the whole of it, is mine alone. It is what makes me special. It has molded my talents and gifts and understanding. It has allowed for me to learn specific intricacies of life in the way that only I could ever learn it. My brain, my heart, my spirit is different from anyone else and because of that I have something special to offer this world.
We all have stories to share and they all have lessons within them. Lessons that inspire us, lessons that warn, lessons that teach. But we can't take these stories and try to make them our own. The patterns won't match, they won't line up no matter how hard you try.
Each of our stories are full of plot twists that could have the power to drag us down to darkness. But we all have the choice, with His help, to find the sunrise at the start of each day.
There is a common thread among each of our stories; to find the light a midst that darkness.